To the Zagros Mountains in Iran
At the end of April 2018, our colleagues Magnus Lidén and Marika Irvine went on a fortnight-long research and collecting expedition to the Zagros Mountains in Iran, in collaboration with Iraj Mehregan from the Islamic Free University in Teheran.
Their focus was Dionysia, closely related to the primrose and cowslip (Primula), and for a very long time a high-priority plant family in the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. Dionysia is a cushion plant from the steep mountains of Iran and Afghanistan, and very spectacular in the spring when it is studded with yellow or violet-blue flowers. Several of the over 50 known species are endangered, above all on account of their often small populations in limited spaces. Some are known from only one single mountain.
The expedition was very successful, despite the participants' having had to suffer heat, drought, wind, and also cold, wet weather. Among other species, they discovered one that was completely new to science. Hopefully we shall be able to display this find in our Dionysia collection. The collection is on show to the general public on a number of occasions during the flowering season in February-March.